|Sony Alpha DSLRA300K 10.2MP Digital SLR Camera with Super SteadyShot Image Stabilization with DT 18-70mm f/3.5-5.6 Zoom Lens
|List Price: $549.88
Our Price: $549.88
Move a step up to digital photography as an art form. This DSLR is simple to use and takes great pictures in automatic modes but it goes further. It brings you in-touch with your creative instincts. Sony a (alpha) DSLR-A300: the camera that links you and your subject. For first-time DSLR users, Sony combines superb 10.2 MP quality, a high quality DT(R) 18-70mm f3.5-5.6 standard zoom lens, and Live Preview in a large tilting 2.7" LCD monitor for point-and-shoot simplicity. You'll have super-quick AF response, 3 fps continuous shooting while you see your subject in the viewfinder, and high sensitivity (ISO 3200) for great low-light shots. What's more, you get simple controls, Creative Style settings and in-camera Super SteadyShot(R) image stabilization that work with every Sony, Carl Zeiss and legacy Minolta a-mount lens. Stamina(R) power for up to 740 shots, Auto Pop-up Flash and many more features make DSLR model an excellent choice for your favorite new hobby. 1200-zone Evaluative Metering 9-Point Center Cross AF Sensor Scene Select(TM) modes for optimal results Dynamic Range Optimizer Anti Dust Technology Auto Pop-Up Flash Accepts CompactFlash Type I/II media and optional Memory Stick(R) PRO Duo storage media In optical viewfinder mode, you can take up to 750 shots on a fully charged NP-FM500H InfoLITHIUM battery On-screen menus are intuitive and easy to use Dimensions (Approx.) - (WHD) 5 1/4 x 4 x 3; 1 lb 4 oz DT 18-70mm f3.5 Zoom lens (27-105 35mm equivalent)
- 10.2 MP for high-resolution image detail
- Kit include DT 18-70mm f3.5-5.6 Standard Zoom Lens
- High sensitivity (ISO 3200) with noise reduction
- Tiltable 2.7? LCD screen for high/low angle shots
- In-camera image stabilization
- Versatile camera that is simple enough for a novice and feature-filled for an enthusiast!
I've had my fair share of point and shoot camera experience, dabbling in small Olympus and Pentax cameras as well as trying out more advanced, full-featured Canons, Samsungs, and Casios, but I was tired of taking mediocre pictures with compact cameras featuring small sensors. This A300 is my first digital SLR and I went through tons of research to finalize my decision on this model. The other models I considered were the Canon XS and XSi, the Olympus E510, and the Nikon D40x. The Sony Alpha 300 is a superior camera to those listed above for the following reasons:
1. IN-CAMERA IMAGE STABILIZATION VIA SENSOR SHIFT. While I intended to use a tripod every now and then, I realize that my shooting will predominantly be handheld, and image stabilization is important. It roughly allows you to shoot at a shutter speeds 4 times slower than one can while holding a camera. For example if you can typically keep a camera steady for 1/40 seconds, you won't have a problem with a 1/10 shutter speed with IS on (not exactly, but a good rule of thumb). The Canon XSi had IS, but it was in the lens. IS in the lens works well, but makes the lens bulkier. With the Sony A300, you don't need to get an expensive lens with IS. That would've been the case if you go with Canons and Nikons.
2. MINOLTA A-MOUNT LENS SELECTION. Yeah, yeah, I realize that Canons and Nikons have huge libraries of lenses. But the Sony Alphas have the Minolta A-mount lenses at their disposal. This means cheap lenses (featuring IS, see above) with quality lens glass. And by cheap, I mean cheap! A must-get is the Minolta Maxxum 50mm f/1.7 prime lens. When the Alphas were introduced you could get these for as cheap as $50! Now they're upwards of $100, but try finding a lens with an f/1.7 aperture for the other cameras (with IS!!!) at that price! Great lens for low light conditions. Another must-have is the Minolta beercan telephotos (I don't have it yet but it's on my shopping list!). On top of that, Sigma and Tamron both make lenses for all aperture and price ranges for the A-mount.
3. LIVE VIEW AND LCD TILT. Live View may be a gimmick to some, but I feel you can be more versatile when shooting when the camera isn't pressed to your face. Shots in the air and shots close to the ground are a breeze with the tilt screen. Almost all photo magazine publications rave about the Live View that Sony Alphas have. This was one of the reasons I chose the A300 over the A200. I know that the optical viewfinder is smaller than most (around 80%?) but that doesn't bother me. The Live View feature was important enough to scratch the Nikon D40x from consideration. I suggest you go to your local electronics or camera store to see first-hand how well this camera operates.
4. IMAGE QUALITY. I hear complaints that the A300 doesn't perform well in high ISO settings. I think it performs superbly. For a good picture, you'd like something under ISO400 anyway. Nikons outsource their sensors to Sony, so if Nikon cameras have great quality I would tend to believe that Sony's Alpha series won't be too shabby either. The 10MP is good enough for me. According to benchmarks, the A300 is a bit faster than the A350 at the highest resolution, but if I had the resources I wouldn't hesitate to grab the A350 over the A300. As far as color and quality goes for A300 pictures, I've been very pleased. Well-exposed shots feature vivid color. The A300 color settings can be customized to your liking in the camera. All the pictures I've taken with sub-par color or exposure have usually been my fault, not the camera's.
5. ERGONOMICS AND DETAILS. The A300 isn't too light nor too heavy. The Canons are very light and I feel like it's a bit harder to hold a steady shot when you don't have a solid camera in your hands. The menus are simple and straight-forward. The proprietary hot shoe may not work with Nikon and Canon flash systems, but it's mechanically sturdier (Sony took Minolta's great design) and is compatible with Minolta Maxxum 7000i and 5000i flashes, among others. The lens mount on the camera and the kit lenses are steel, which is way better than the plastic mounts that the entry level Canons and Nikons feature.
6. ISSUES SO MINUSCULE THAT THEY DON'T BOTHER ME. Using the kit 18-70mm kit lens and the built-in flash will result in a slight shadow from 18mm up to approx. 25mm. I suggest either use an external flash, or zoom higher than 25mm. It's not a big problem at all. It's only at wide angles. As stated, The optical viewfinder is smaller than most, but fine for me. Support for the Alpha series isn't as good as Canons and Nikons in camera pro shops, and the customer service usually don't know a lot about these models.
I got this camera for a steal of a deal. The camera kit with 18-70mm lens, and another 75-300mm Sony SAL75300 lens, a free Epson photo printer, a photography for dummies reference book, and some freebies from Snapfish all came out to $599 plus tax! It hasn't been 20 days since I've had my A300, and the picture count has already surpassed 1,300! It's such a pleasure to use that I hate putting it down. I can't wait for my next vacation so I can use this amazing piece of machinery! If you choose the A300, you will be very pleased and I guarantee you won't have buyers remorse!...more info
- Real time view
The is lowest price DSLR carera that has the realtime lcd view. It's very good and easy to use, the picture is very clear....more info
- A300 - a fine camera indeed
I had to choose between the a200, a300 and a350. Like another reviewer said, I think the a300 hits the sweetspot. The Live view is a feature that I might have to add to my list of requirements for future upgrades.
One of the things that annoyed me about shooting with a dslr were my glasses. To prevent them from being smudged, I'd flip them up when pressing my face against the eyepiece. Spend an entire day doing this and it becomes a royal PITA. I've only used the camera for about a week so far and I can already see that I'll be relying on Live view a lot.
The other major benefits of Live view are: 1) being able to shoot pics from the ground level perspective (great for kids and dogs) without multiple trial and errors or crouching/laying on the ground (my back thanks me), and 2) shooting over a crowd of heads, fence, glass partition, etc.
The image doesn't track as smooth as I'd hoped, but it's good enough for framing the shot. It shows you the autofocus points as well as providing a live histogram (i love it!).
I upgraded from a Minolta 5D and I think I'll miss the depth of field preview as well. Small price to pay for all the other great features.
In summary, get this camera if you're not heavily invested in other lens systems. I haven't checked out the competition since I'm one of the surviving members of the Minolta clan, but I'm sure others have competent implementations as well....more info
- A300- A best choice for beginners
I purchased the Sony A300 after a few weeks of exhaustive analysis The 10.2 MP camera delivers more than it expects. I was in doubt with A300 and A350, but now I realized that a bigger MP does not have much to do with the picture quality. When comparing with A200, I think the live view is worth 100$. Overall very good product which keeps Sony in front among Nikon D40, D60 and Canon starter series....more info
- BIG Bang for you Buck
I have been using a film SLR (Pentax) camera for some time and wanted to graduate over to a digital SLR. I went around looking for a beginners digital SLR and had to choose from Sony A300, Canon Rebel XSi and Nikon D60. Looking at the prices and the reviews I decided to buy the Sony A300. One of my more accomplished friends bought the Canon XSi at the same time while another of my friends swore by a Nikon. But after a few months, I have realized that for over 95% of our photos the Sony is just as good, if not better than the Canon or the Nikon, and about 20% cheaper. Also, the image stabilization is awesome and since the stabilizer is in the body, and not in the lens, each individual lens is way lighter. The sensor is as good as the Nikon one and maybe a hair less sensitive than the canon one in very low lights (noticeable at 1600 ISO or over). But, I have realized that a 1600 ISO picture is important low light conditions and mostly when all efforts to improve exposure fails, making it very rare. So it is not worth the 20% of price difference for me.
The LCD is way better than the Canon XSi for sure, giving you a much better review of the picture.
The menu is easy to handle and the controls are really good. However, the battery life is about as good as the canon, and not as good as the Nikon one. But a second battery easily solves that problem.
By the way, it might take you 2-3 months to really become up to date with a good digital SLR if you have never used a dSLR before - till then, you shoud not pass a judgement on the camera.
Overall I am glad that I bought the A300 and Love taking pictures with it. I think the A300 gives a real great bang for your bucks.
- Best DSLR for the price
I compared this camera with the Nikon. Live View was the deciding factor. This camera is great. Pictures are super clear. I have not had much time to use all the features but many think that the photos were taken by a professional. I shot on auto mode! Sports shots come out great, the clarity and speed are really wonderful for an amateur photog.
Downside, you can get some shadow as the flash pops up quite low and can cause shadow with the lens.
I recommend getting the accessory kit with the extra battery as I am always forgetting to charge it....more info
- Great DSLR for moving up from a point-and-shoot because of Live View
There is really only one reason to choose this camera over the more established Nikon and Canon offerings and that is Live View. To put it simply, this is the ONLY DSLR with the ability to use the LCD screen to compose and take your picture with no sacrifice in focus speed vs. using the optical viewfinder. This is similar to how you use a point-and-shoot. Thus it is a great camera for those who prefer to take pictures using the LCD screen.
Canon and Nikon both offer a form of live view that relies on contrast focus to take the picture which is slower and less accurate.
I happen to love taking picture using the LCD screen in part because I wear a motorcycle helmet taking pictures which won't allow me to use the viewfinder on a traditional DSLR. Those who wear glasses or who like to shoot from the waist, ground, or overhead will also really appreciate this.
If this feature is not important to you, you are better off getting the Canon or Nikon as they are a more mature platform with more support than Sony DSLRs.
Keep in mind that the larger sensor on a DSLR allow a much better picture than any point-and-shoot. You will really notice this in low light/indoor shots where you can take pictures largely without flash which always looks so much better. You will also notice a much faster frames per second rate and much more flexibility in composing shots using custom settings.
Those who simply want a point-and-shoot simplicity can set it on automatic and get great looking shots.
- LOVE LOVE LOVE IT
I received this as a Christmas present. Within 3 days of having this camera I had taken almost 600 pictures. I have owned many cameras (pentex, kodak, etc... ) NONE were this good. You really have to try to get a blurry picture. I was changing the zoom and took a pic and it still came out clear. I tried everything and kept it on the auto setting for type of pics and it was always clear. I am not a camera buff and it will take me some time to learn all the features, but so far so good. I would highly recommend this to someone without a lot of picture taking knowledge that just wants a good camera like I did. ...more info
- Expected more than what I found
I have been using various sony cameras right from P9, P10, some fancy handy types which came out as limited editions and lately using DSC-H1 past 2 years now. I decided to buy a new series alpha of sony and is when I finalized the A300 and bought. The contrast, clarity, liveliness on the true colours is all that is lacking in A300. My DSC-H1 is excellent comparing to A300. The pictures from A300 look as if somebody has set an extra film of colour which ruins the results and photos look like they have been stored for many years. I am talking of clicking the photos in either "P" mode or "Auto" mode. So not as expected. Otherwise, the look of the camera, price, some extra features are not matcahable with other brands. Sony stays quiet exclusive in those terms. ...more info
- almost perfect SLR
I finally broke down, replaced by beloved Nikon FTN film SLR *and* my Canon A650 with a digital SLR from Sony. I can't believe it took this long for someone to figure out that digital SLRs sorely lacked the live view features available on many digital point-and-shoots, and that the live view feature should facilitate waist-level and over-the-head shooting. This Sony has that, and more. For example, image stabilization is in the body, not the lens. This enables the stabilization feature with a wide variety of "legacy" lenses from Minolta, Vivitar, Sigma, Tamron, etc.
Yet the Sony Alpha is *almost*, but not quite perfect, hence only four stars. The Alpha has two shortcomings; it is not available without the kit lens which, although it covers an adequate range, it's largest aperture is still small; it requires a proprietary battery and I prefer the ability to run down to a local convenience store when my camera runs out of juice. Otherwise, the Sony Alpha is a total pleasure to own and to use, IMO far preferable to the competition from Canon and Nikon....more info
- well worth it for the money.....
my wife is very well satisfied with the product and im also satisfied with the pictures that were taken........more info
- Greate Value Product
I think for Taking Corner Shot, High or low Height shots the Live LCD is boon.
Camera Battery rocks, Decent options for Lense from G, DT and Ziess Lense.
Camera is very very affordable compared to same Feature in Nikon and Canon where we have to pay more then $ 500 for just Normal Lens with VR (Vibration Reduction) as it inbuild in Sensor.
I think CMOS Sensor could have render image Better but Price Vs Value Ratio may go up then....more info
- Lives up to high expectations. Great entry-level+ DSLR.
My first DSLR, and I am very satisfied.
Why I bought it:
Live View - excellent implementation. This was my number one purchase point for this camera. Fast switching to and from the Optical Viewfinder. You can use Live View outside of the studio and it acts just like a standard consumer digital camera screen. Screen tilts, which is handy.
10MP - this is the sweet spot for price and capability. The Alpha 350 has 14MP, but I decided to save the money and buy a few accessories right away.
RAW+JPEG - I wanted a camera that shot RAW+JPEG and didn't skimp on the JPEG. You can shoot high-quality JPEG and RAW at the same time.
Great photos - has to do that.
Good surprises after I got the camera and started using it:
Ease of Use - very easy to start using right out of the box (recharge the battery first).
Steady Shot - gives me the confidence to shoot without a tripod and it has a nice readout on the LCD that tells you when you're shaking.
Battery life - I've been taking quite a few photos the last week and have yet to recharge the internal battery.
Display Button - easy to press and review your photos. Very easy to get back to shooting.
Minor Bad Point - in-camera flash is very low and kit lens casts a shadow if you are too close to your subject. I got an HVL-F36AM external flash with the camera so I don't have to worry about this too much.
Some mention that the viewfinder is small, but I used it all day today because of the bright sunlight and was happy with it. I was sitting in our vehicle and noticed a tank in my side mirror. I decided to take the photo using auto focus but that didn't work, so I focused manually on the tank about 30 yards behind me through the driver's side window in the left side mirror and got a perfectly sharp picture using the Optical Viewfinder.
Great camera!!...more info
- Digital Photography accessible to newcomers
The Sony Alpha 300 is a very nice mid entry level camera to anyone with a desire to explore digital photography.
I had first purchased the Alpha 200, and about a week later, Sony launched the Alpha 300. I was able to return my out of the box camera, and ordered this newer model. I am glad I did, because of all the features that this camera has, as I will briefly describe below.
It is a fantastic piece of equipment that allows amateurs, and mid level photographers to engage in their creative shooting, while using some of the advantages of a point and shoot camera.
One of the main features that makes this camera so desirable is its 'live preview' feature on its LCD screen.
I was used to shooting photos on a Sony Cyber before upgrading to a digital SLR. The few days I had the Alpha 200 I hated the fact that I had to look in the viewer. But with the Live preview function in this camera, I was satisfied of being able to shoot as I had already been shooting for about 3 years, and do it with much better results with this 10Mb pixel camera.
I spent a couple months shooting with the automatic setting, which is just as using a point and shoot camera.
The real power of this camera is unleashed when you start playing with the other shooting settings. I have already transitioned into only using this camera on its manual setting, and being able to create certain moods in the photographs I have shot, all by controlling exposure and aperture, the two technical elements that are required in photography.
They are easily controlled and can be changed on the fly, while photographing your subject matter, by a simple button and a dial.
A less known feature is the ability to take 3 shoots per second, with different exposure settings, using the EAB (Exposure Auto Bracketing) setting, very useful for those who want to combine 3 shots into one, using postprocessing with either Photoshop, or any other graphics program.
The camera is compact, its weight is very manageable, and the life of the battery allows you to take as many photos as you want to create photographic essays on whatever subject you like.
I definitely recommend this camera to anyone getting into the fantastic world of digital photography. As I said, you can set the camera in automatic, and learn to use it, and gradually play with the other settings until you are using it as it is meant to be used.
- great and easy to use
I bought the camera to replace my old 35 mm Cannon, it is as fantastic but digital, I only wish it could also take video, how difficult is that? even my cell phone can. Great product. ...more info
- Great entry level DSLR
After reading dozens of reviews on lower end dslr's, I decided on the Sony A 300. Mostly I choose this camera over the canon XSI, both within my price range, because of the "kit included lens" that came with the Sony and Canon. It just seemed amateurs and experts agreed that the canon stock kit lens wasn't as good as the Sony kit lens. So that meant buying the Canon and then buying another lens to accompany the camera. I've had the Sony for about 2 months and I haven't been disappointed. I've used the camera on a daily basis, taking 100's of shots. Now, I'm just an amateur photographer, but I've been at this for about 12 years and this camera really takes beautiful shots, both indoors and out. I've recently purchased a 70 by 300mm Sigma DG Macro lens for the Sony and the results are most pleasing. Sony has done a great job with making this camera user friendly. So, if you're just a little bored or disappointed with the typical point and shoot digitals and want to jump up to a DSLR, then I would highy recommend the Sony Alpha 300....more info
- The best value in an Alpha?
Having previously reviewed the Alpha 200 and 350, it seems a bit silly to review the Alpha 300. After all, the Alpha 300 is a 200 with Live View, or a 350 with 10 megapixels instead of 14mp. Right?
Well, pretty much that's the case. But there is also a corresponding price difference. Is Live View worth an extra $100? Is 14mp worth an extra $200?
For my money, yes, Live View is worth the $100 because of the way Sony has implemented this feature. Unlike most systems, you won't see a loss in autofocusing performance (or a loss of autofocus completely), nor will you alter the way the exposure and white balance are determined. Add to this the articulated screen that makes extremely low or high angle shots easier, and I say "YES"! Any drawbacks? Yes, this screen is a bit thicker, and pushes you back a bit when looking through the camera. Also, the way Sony implements Live View does mean you only see 90 percent of what you'll get on the image.
OK, is 14mp worth the extra $200? I don't know, but I don't think so. We really need more critical comparisons from people with true scientific methods of measuring the difference in image quality, but there are a few assumptions that will probably hold true, based on previous cameras. The 14mp will give a superior image in good lighting, when ISO values (the fake "film" speeds) can be set to higher quality settings. You won't see this difference on an 8x10 standard photo, but probably could in very big enlargements or severe cropping of photos. Keep in mind that the "1.4x and 2x teleconverter" option you have with Live View is nothing more than cropping, with 2x dropping your effective megapixels in half.
Past cameras would suggest, however, that the higher pixel density of the 14mp camera would be a drawback in low light conditions, in particular when we have to raise the ISO settings. Thus, they may not even be as good as the 10mp sensor for these applications (but we still need critical testing to confirm this assumption).
So, for my money, I'd say the 14mp is probably not worth the money for someone shooting an even variety of shoots, but might be for a landscape/wildlife photographer.
Compared to other brands, I think the Alpha 300 wins on features compared to the Canon Digital Rebel XTi or Nikon D60 (Live View, stabalization in body). The new 12mp Canon XSi is more in the price range of the 14mp Alpha 350. In any case, with 3 new Alphas, and the new D60 and XSi, there's no more excuses! Get a camera and start taking great photos!
Sony Alpha A200K 10.2MP Digital SLR Camera Kit with Super SteadyShot Image Stabilization with 18-70mm f/3.5-5.6 Lens
Sony Alpha DSLRA350K 14.2MP Digital SLR Camera with Super SteadyShot Image Stabilization DT 18-70mm f/3.5-5.6 Zoom Lens
Nikon D60 10.2MP Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S DX VR Nikkor Zoom Lens
Canon Digital Rebel XSi 12MP Digital SLR Camera with EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens (Black) ...more info
- Great camera for the price!
camera takes good pictures, good for the price. It has everything i was looking for in my first digital slr camera. super steady shot image stabillization is a plus for me, you can buy lens for half the price if you are on a budget. I also like the live view with its x 1.4 and X 2 which adds extra zoom to any lens(ONLY ON LIVE VIEW) the flip screen lcd is useful when shooting with live view. to shoot different creative shots, overall i am satisfied with my camera and looking forward to learning how to shoot great pictues and develop better skills in photography....more info
- A300K Review
The A300 is, but for one flaw, an excellent camera. My pictures are consistently good. The controls are not bad. I would prefer more dials and less menus; however, the critical functions are readily accessible through the function button.
The flaw I mentioned deals with the vulnerability of the (LCD) liquid crystal display. Because that display swivels, it stick out further from the camera body than would otherwise be the case. As such it is more likely to be damaged or scratched. Note that, unlike the Olympus E-510, the LCD does not swivel against the body for protection. Incredibly, Sony does not make available, at least for the US market, any attachable protective covers. The "Lens and Accessory Compatibility Chart" on Sony's US website does list a plastic sheet (part # PCK-lS3AM) as available for the A300 (and the A350). The "Accessory" catalog, at pages 9 and 18, lists the same part. Nevertheless, this part is not available in the US. This was confirmed to me by phone with Sony Customer Support and by letter dated May 8, 2008, from Sony Customer Affairs, that Sony Marketing has made the decision not to make this protective part available in the US. No reason was given. The part is available in Europe, but, not for shipment to the US.
This is poor decision by Sony. Putting aside the question of listing the part as available when in fact it is not, the camera needs this part. Sony does make such protective devices available for the A200 and A700. The A300 and A350 need this protection more than the A200 and A700. The decision to deny American buyers the protection offered to Europeans is senseless.
I am sure that the aftermarket will eventually remedy this oversight. Until then, unless you have a compelling need for live view and/or a swiveling LCD, stick with the A200....more info
- Amazing camera
This is a really amazing camera. Its easy tu use and it has a lot of modes to shoot under any cirumstances....more info
- Sony camera
I love this camera...great for starter. Still so much to learn about the features...some confusing....more info